“It’s wide open,” said Joe Trippi, a veteran of Democratic presidential campaigns from Teddy Kennedy to John Edwards. “There’s nobody running away with this thing. The last-place guy is within reach of the first-place guy.”Realistically, Bobby Jindal's chances are pretty slim. But, as we keep saying, it's not because he isn't running exactly the right sort of campaign to be successful. Instead, his problem is that he's just too smarmy and phony even for a guy running for President.
Jindal’s rise to the top from near nullity in 2003 is hardly the only time a politician has pulled that off, even on the vastly bigger scale of a presidential race. In 1976, a Georgia peanut farmer who had served a single term as governor, Jimmy Carter, emerged from near-obscurity to capture the Democratic nomination and ultimately the White House.
Like Carter, Jindal comes from a Southern state without a large population or contributor base. And like Carter, Jindal is a born-again Christian whose religious convictions form a significant part of his political profile.
Anyway, the Carter comparison is pretty interesting. A number of prominent consultants and pundits are asked to consider it in that article. Carter was a pretty smarmy phony candidate back then too. (Here Thomas Frank compares the smarmy phoniness of Carter and Obama.) Not everyone remembers that far back or reads very much political history anymore but it's worth thinking about.